July 27, 2017 2:54 pm
Updated: July 27, 2017 4:18 pm

Mystery bug bite leaves Arizona man covered in bruises, ‘excruciating pain’

WATCH: Doctors still haven't determined what bit Thomas Jay.


An Arizona man is stumped and has been left in “excruciating pain” after he was bitten by a “mystery bug” while taking out the trash a week-and-a-half ago.

Thomas Jay told CBS affiliate KPHO that it all happened quickly.

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“As I glanced at it really quick, all of a sudden I just felt this excruciating pinch, this pressure. And I immediately went and swatted the bug off,” he said.

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He said the bite started off as a small circle on his left arm. His wife Deanna Petrov draw a circle around it to monitor its growth.

“It doubled in size in an hour and a half,” said Petrov.

The couple sought medical help at a local hospital, which couldn’t solve the mystery of the growing bruises and pain, so they were referred to a larger hospital in Phoenix.

“Toxicologists were in the room looking at him and that’s when they said, ‘Something’s wrong. We need to try to figure this out,’” she said.

Doctors conducted a battery of tests on Jay, including a biopsy in hopes of discovering what may have caused the painful injury.

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Petrov told Global News that as of this writing, they still have not received any updates on a diagnosis.

The couple speculate that the bite may have come from a camel spider, which they can’t confirm because they did not find the culprit after Jay swatted it away.

Neil Holliday, president of the Entomological Society of Canada, told Global News that camel spiders aren’t venomous and said “the link [from this injury] to this group of animals is implausible.”

National Geographic says the carnivorous arachnids use their “digestive fluids to liquefy their victims’ flesh, making it easy to suck the remains into their stomachs,” but LiveScience writes that camel spiders are “of negligible threat to humans.”

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If you believe you’ve been bitten or stung by a “mystery” bug, Holliday recommends trying to capture or take a clear image of it next to another item for scale. Canadians can usually find local entomologists who can help identify the critter at universities or museums with a natural history section, or they can contact their local Forestry Canada office if the bug came from the woods.

Identifying the culprit will help medical staff better figure out a treatment plan – an obstacle Jay’s doctors faced.

For now, Jay has agreed to be a part of a medical case study.

“Even though they might not be able to figure out what it was, they might be able to help other individuals as they learn from this situation,” he said.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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